Too Smart for Faith
The Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom . . . Hosea 1:2
It is not uncommon, working with addicts, to meet those who are too smart for their own good. While the addict must have some knowledge of recovery before he finds it, the addict often thinks himself out of right behavior. I don’t need to go to treatment. I’ve already been there. There’s nothing new I can learn. I already know it all.
I’ve been there. I’m a physician for goodness sake. How is anyone in treatment going to know more than me? At that point, my supposed intelligence was actually a stumbling block as I mistook knowledge for right behavior. Anyone could see that I was a fool, but I still found myself to be quite brilliant. Intelligence and right behavior are not the same.
If faith is keeping our eyes on God and making our feet follow, then one does not need to be overly smart to have tremendous faith. In today’s passage, God commanded his servant Hosea, to marry a prostitute. Hosea could have easily thought himself out of obedience. That can’t be right, God. Your ten commandments say, “Do not commit adultery”. Surely you wouldn’t ask me to marry an adulterer. I must have heard you wrong. I’m not going to marry a prostitute.
I’m not suggesting that adultery isn’t a sin and I’m not suggesting that intelligence is a bad thing. I’m just insisting that we often confuse knowledge for spiritual maturity and faith. Faith and knowledge though, are not the same and often, our supposed intelligence gets in the way of our obedience. God doesn’t want me to give money to the homeless. The bible says if a man doesn’t work, he shouldn’t eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). I don’t want to enable laziness, so I won’t help the poor.
If we want recovery, faith, and God, we must, like Hosea, practice radical obedience. When we hear God asking us to do a thing, like a child, we must follow (Mark 10:15), or we will naturally think our way out of faith.